Driving in to work today, I was listening to Spotify and thinking about books. I’m currently obsessed with the song “Ugly Heart” by G.R.L. and I was thinking it could be the basis for an angstsy teen novel. One thing leads to another in my often labyrinthine thought process and I soon found myself trying to list in my head songs I love that are based on books, poems, or other literary works.
Some obvious ones came to mind—“Calypso” by Suzanne Vega, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits, “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush, “Moon over Bourbon Street” by Sting. All of these have been longtime favorites because of the dimension they add to the fictional works they, well, ripped off. (Isn’t all creation stealing, really? Or at least borrowing heavily?)
As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I love the marriage of music and literature and I often find myself making musical pairings in my mind: Paolo Nutini riffing on The Fault in Our Stars? Fun. taking a crack at Atonement? Adele reinterpreting Bel Canto? Jay-Z channeling Tennyson? You get my drift.
What is your favorite song based on a book? And what book would you like to see become a hit song?